In the UK today the disabled are over 13.9 million according to Scope research. They include children, working-age adults and pension age adults. Also, about 11.8 million people today are above the age of 65 and projected to hit 16 million in just 17 years while those above 85 years are about 1.6 million and will double to 3.4 million in 23 years, according to the Disabled Living Foundation.
All these individuals, among others, need to adapt their homes to be more accessible or add specialised equipment or structure to make daily living secure, easy and safe. You can actually get financial help to fund these adaptations.
Who can get support?
Anyone in need of support in their daily living, from the disabled, elderly to people with terminal or long-term health problems. In that case, you have the right to receive a local authority assessment that evaluates your needs. In the process, the changes required will be recommended.
Haven’t had need assessment done? Get in touch with your local department of social services by applying to the local council. Northern Ireland needs assessment is done by local trusts accessible here.
Types of adaptions
The kind of financial aid you get depends largely on the kind of adaptations you need. These can be major or minor ones. Minor alterations, in this case, could include handrails, kitchen lever taps, among others. Significant changes could be anything from shower room installations, doorway expansion to levelling kitchen worktops.
Get free funding for minor adaptions from your local authority after an assessment of up to £1,000 in England for such adaptations as grab rails, concrete steps or ramp and lights etc. In Scotland, essential adaptations and equipment funding of below £1,500 can be provided. In Wales, you could be requested to pay for the alterations based on your financial capability and what you can part with reasonably enough. In Northern Ireland, your local trust will make the decision whether to fund for the minor adaptations or equipment or let you do it on your own.
Major alterations funding
Adapting your home could require major adjustments. If you cannot finance the projects yourself, funding is available from the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) paid out by a local authority. In Northern Ireland, it is the Local Housing Executive who pays.
Your local authority determines eligibility for DFG. The authority must be fully persuaded that the major alterations are appropriate, needed and critical for your daily living. To comprehensively do this an occupational therapist might be required in the assessment.
Also, grants for significant adaptations will be means-tested if applications are for those 18 and above. It means your savings and income, including those of your partner if you’ve one will be taken into consideration.
The amount of DFG funding you receive will depend on where you live in the UK. Those in England can receive maximum DFG of £30,000, £36,000 for those in Wales and £25,000 for those in Northern Ireland. In Scotland, the provided amount isn’t uniform and will depend on your own local council.
Apply for DFG from your local council here. For Northern Ireland use the indirect portal. Unhappy with the council’s decision? Make an appeal today via the same channel. In case the appeal isn’t satisfactory you can make an official complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman for immediate action.
It’s still possible you’ve no idea where to begin to seek funding, have the work planned and getting in touch with tradespeople. Agencies dealing with home improvement can help you with these. Their aid is varied and includes getting quotes, coming up with work plans, visiting your property and offering needed advice and evaluating the financial aid you can get.
Note that home improvement agencies have trusted and previously used tradespeople available via their sites. Find a home enhancement agency from your locality and more information via the Foundations portal. Those in Northern Ireland can get grants to adapt or improve their homes via the Housing Executive site.
Funding from charities
At times your local authority might not get you the funding you need. You could still get your home adaptions funded via different charities within the UK. These charities offer assistance from fund searching, accessing funding, charitable funds, grants and benefits, among others. Note that eligibility for each charity varies.
You can use such searchable charities directories as Turn2us or Charity Choice’s portal to search for the funding you need to adapt your home. If you wish to take out finance then take look at the home improvement loans here on Lending Expert.